FAIR Health Consumer Survey: Consumers Unaware of the Best Age for Children's First Dental Exam

February Is Children's Dental Health Month

Feb 10, 2016, 10:20 ET from FAIR Health

NEW YORK, Feb. 10, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Nearly half of US consumers believe the recommended age for a first dental check-up is after a child's second birthday. Dental authorities, however, recommend that children visit the dentist for the first time when the first tooth appears, or no later than their first birthday. Only 25 percent of the respondents in FAIR Health's consumer dental survey provided answers within the recommended guidelines.

These findings come at a time when tooth decay is recognized as the most common chronic childhood disease and early childhood caries have increased, despite a decline in cavities in the adult population.

Household Status
Nearly 40 percent of people with children in their household mistakenly believed that dental visits should begin after the second birthday. Twenty-three percent of respondents with children in the household believed the first dental visits should occur after age three. 

"While people who do not live with children may not know the guidelines, it was particularly surprising that a large percentage of respondents with children in their household were also unaware of these important oral health recommendations," said Robin Gelburd, president of FAIR Health, a national, independent, nonprofit corporation dedicated to healthcare cost transparency and literacy. "The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires that states offer pediatric dental insurance. Another step is to help make sure that people have access to regular oral health care, and are informed about and engaged in best practices that will give their children a healthier start in life."

Early childhood dental care is just one of the major oral health issues featured in Consumer Attitudes: Dental Treatment and Insurance, FAIR Health's new report that analyzes the results of FAIR Health's consumer survey. The full report and a companion infographic can be downloaded here.

About the Survey
The survey was conducted July 23-26, 2015 by ORC International's Telephone CARAVAN®. The study used two probability samples: landline and mobile phone numbers, which were randomly selected. The combined sample consisted of 1,028 US-based adults. The margin of error was +/-3.06 percent at the 95 percent confidence level.

About FAIR Health
FAIR Health is a national, independent, nonprofit corporation dedicated to bringing transparency to healthcare costs and health insurance information through comprehensive data products, consumer resources and health systems research support. FAIR Health uses its database of nearly 20 billion privately billed medical and dental healthcare claims to power an award-winning free consumer website available in English (www.fairhealthconsumer.org) and Spanish (www.consumidor.fairhealth.org), as well as mobile apps in English and Spanish  (FH® Cost Lookup/FH® CCSalud). In addition to its consumer offerings, FAIR Health licenses data products to a wide range of healthcare stakeholders, including businesses, government agencies, insurers, healthcare providers and academic researchers. For more information, visit www.fairhealth.org.

Media Inquiries:
Anayo Afolabi
FAIR Health